It was a fantastic night for Irish athletics on Tuesday with multiple Irish records falling including one senior record.
In arguably the best Shot Put competition ever seen on Irish soil, John Kelly (Finn Valley AC) broke the Irish senior record that Eric Favors (Raheny Shamrocks AC) had set back in May. Kelly who is now based in Sweden is in a training group that includes Olympic champion in the Discus Throw Daniel Ståhl.
In the third round Kelly managed to throw a superb 20.16m, adding 9cm to Favor’s record. His reaction summed up his emotions as he knelt on the floor overcome by what he had achieved. Favors was determined to have his say however and in the fourth round he challenged Kelly throwing a PB of 20.11m.
The competition was won by popular Italian Nick Ponzio who threw 20.71m, with Andrew Liskowitz of America finishing second ahead of Kelly and Favors.
Sarah Healy (UCD AC) put in yet another majestical performance to set a new Irish U23 record over 3000m. The Blackrock native knocked over five seconds off her previous record to finish in a time of 8.46.14. Healy had made her move with 200m to go leaving Romanian athlete Stella Rutto in her wake to take victory however it was not without drama. With 20 metres to go Healy began to lose her balance, stumbling as she crossed the line but just managing to get her torso over. A sign if any as to how much she was going for it!
Darragh McElhinney (UCD AC) put in another masterclass to win the Men’s 3000m with ease to break John Treacy’s National Outdoor U23 record for the distance. McElhinney had ran quicker than the Outdoor record Indoors earlier this year in France but went quicker in his home city. The Glengarriff man was the only athlete who went with the pacemaker, running the last three laps solo to win in 7.44.01.
Behind McElhinney, Nick Griggs (Mid Ulster AC) broke the Cork man’s National U20 record as he crossed the line sixth in 7.53.40. No Irish U20 had ever broken eight minutes for the distance until Tuesday, with McElhinney’s National U20 record standing at 8.01.48. The 17-year-old from Tyrone continues his meteoric rise and is currently ranked third on the World U20 lists this season in the Mile and 3000m. His eyes will be firmly set now on the World U20 Championships that take place in Cali, Colombia at the start of August where he will be considered as a serious medal contender.